Reviews by sentient

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    Original Santal by Creed

    Received my bottle the other day, sort of like the OV flask but in red (instead of green) with a bright cap instead of the black one on OV. Open the cap, sort of woody piney smell. Reminds me very much of Baie De Genievre, the juniper classic from Creed. Good to know about the juniper note in OS. First spray - I sense a strong coriander emerge. I am immediately reminded of the strong coriander note coming from Live Jazz. My friends who were very lukewarm on other Creed scents were totally blown away by the opening. There is of course, the juniper which I mentioned, ginger comes in pretty early on. The net result of coriander, juniper and ginger is a punchy fresh smell. I'm not a fan of coriander and can't stand Live Jazz and its coriander, so I'm not pumped about the opening. Not sure but I smell the prickly lavendar at the top. The juniper/ginger make it somewhat bearable in OS (for me). Thankfully for me, the top notes are not very long lasting.

    As the mid/base notes emerge the sandalwood slowly comes along. However there is a good bit of orange tree absolute, rosemary and very light lavendar that I smell. The scent turns into a aromatic powdery scent, something you expect from a Lorenzo Villoresi or classic french powder fragrance except it isn't very sweet just the right amount and quite aromatic. OS doesn't get cloying at all, something I detest in LV. Sandalwood, orange tree, rosemary, tonka bean and vanilla nice mid/basenotes. Powder, Sweet, Spice, aromatic - all in nice balance. While I didn't like the opening that much, I find the mid/base notes are very nice. Three cheers - NO CREED HOUSE NOTE -- this should be good enough reason to try this out. It is a good thing there is no amber, otherwise I suspect this would have surely turned into a sweet bomb, the amber accentuating the sweetness. People who have been waiting for Creed to turn out a sweet/orientalish fragrance will like this. The top notes burn off pretty quickly (1/2 hr). I could smell faint basenotes after five/six hours. I would say this is short/medium lasting. Not EdP lasting.

    Overall verdict: One of the more direct, easy to understand and wear creed scents. No obvious copy of any existing scent (notes below). Doesn't invent anything major, pretty standard notes. No creed house notes - "sharp, metallic" etc. The good quality comes through, you can sense the development of the various notes. Having just burned my nose through 12 Serge Lutens samples, I have come full circle and can appreciate the existence of direct, well-made fragrances for daily use.

    Extended Notes:
    1. This doesn't smell like the older Creed Santal Imperial, though the heart is from SI. SI is a great scent with a beautiful Santal, vanilla, amber softness. Amazing sandalwood powdery sweetness and spice that is gentle. OS does settle into a nice soft aromatic powdery scent, without the creed amber. It is more than just sandalwood, I sense the rosemary, orange tree absolute very much till the end (in OS). I would say SI has been juiced up substantially by giving the zesty coriander/juniper/ginger opening and then putting in some supporting characters to the sandalwood.
    2. OS would be in the same category as Allure Homme in a very broad sense. Both are semi-orientals, both come in spray bottles with essential oils suspended in alcohol otherwise not the same.
    3. Comparison to the "English Santals": Floris Santal, Trumpers Sandalwood, Susanne Lang Sandalwood are good examples of very spicy and very sweet sandalwoods. True to its house character, OS could be said to be midway between these Santals and classic powdery french perfumes.

    19 August, 2005

    rating


    Eau Noire Cologne by Christian Dior

    My much anticipated Dior Homme cologne finally arrived. After hearing good things about this scent I sprung for the 4.2 oz bottle at Retail. $US 125 and that's before tax and shipping. Most expensive purchase. OK, now for the scent - comes as a dark green liquid in a clear bottle with a black top. Much like mugler's cologne you get a black spray along with the top and you have to screw the spray in (then, the top doesn't fit). First whiffs after opening the black top -- hmm sweetish, lavendery -- cr*p is this caron pour homme? did I get swindled? OK, no going back, so I sprayed thrice on my arm to get to the scent. On my other arm I have caron pour homme for reference.

    Good - no sign of the ghastly piercing lavendar of pour homme, I smell caramelized sugar, burnt sugar - reminds me of Body Kouros' burnt sweetness - spice appears - not cumin, thyme perhaps, fenugreek or sage and some very light indian spices. Too spicy - the burnt sugar tames it though. I wait for some more time, the spice has mellowed out and the burnt sugar takes over. I smell lavendar coming in, looks like it was hidden behind the spice (usually lavendar is the top note). Around this time pour homme is perfect for 30 seconds balanced between the lavendar sharpness and vanilla sweetness. Continue further, EN settles down nicely into a light spice, sweet with lavender scent, I am thinking maple syrup without the excessive sweetness. By now, pour homme has become sticky vanilla and is cloying. Eau noire is prolonging the spicy, sweet with lavendar effect for a long time. The spiciness is subsiding and sweetness is taking over gently, slight woodiness - cedar comes in. No abrupt switch between lavendar to vanilla like pour homme. EN continues becomes a very balanced between spicy and sweet, cedar takes on a bigger role. I can't comment on pour homme, I have washed it off by now. EN lasts quite long, though it is called a cologne, it is at least EdT (if not EdP) in longevity.

    All in all, interesting experience. Serge Lutens meets Caron Pour Homme. I am wary of lavender scents (except Creed RSL which is very light), so this is an interesting take on lavender. My greatest regret with Creed BdP is the lack of sweet notes, if someone could add a slight sweetness and remove the citrus top notes it would be perfect for me. I have unsuccefully tried adding vanilla oil to BdP to make it smell better with terrible results (no perfumer here). Eau Noire is a close approximation to that sentiment (spicy sweet lavendar) though a different scent. I still detest paying retail ...

    19 August, 2005

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